Soldiers on patrol in the Mexican border town of Ciudad Camargo, Tamaulipas, discovered a warehouse where two armor-plated “tanks” were being constructed after clashing with gunmen said to belong to the Gulf Cartel, a military source said June 6. Two of the gunmen were killed in a firefight, while two hid inside the warehouse. Authorities said the tanks—actually big trucks fitted with steel plates—were to patrol smuggling routes to the US. Officials said their armour could only be breached with anti-tank grenades. Mexican authorities say they have discovered more than 100 such improvised “narco-tanks” in recent months, which the media have dubbed ‘Los Monstruos,” or the Monsters. Last month police in Jalisco found a 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty Truck with steel armor plates welded to almost its entire exterior, along with a folding battering ram on the front bumper. The homemade armored vehicle also had gun ports and a rotating turret. The tank was found abandoned in a rural area contested by the warring Sinaloa Cartel and Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion. (Poder 360, June 7; BBC News, AFP, June 6)
See our last posts on Mexico’s narco wars.